Work package 3b: EXPERT – a randomised controlled trial



About iPExThe objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of online health information websites containing information derived from patients’ experiences (their narrative accounts of health and illness) in three exemplar conditions, and compare this impact with that of three comparator websites which contain facts and figures (and information from health professionals) but no experiential information from patients.

Our three exemplar conditions have been chosen to assess the impact of experiential information on

(1) confidence to self-manage a chronic disease (asthma);

(2) motivation to change an unhealthy behaviour (smoking);

(3) preparedness to undertake a caring role (carers of people with multiple sclerosis).

Our theoretical work suggests that these are three of the several ways in which experiential information may be beneficial. We are also measuring the impact of all six websites using a new bespoke tool, the e-Health Impact Questionnaire, and examining any changes on mental health scores and quality of life scores. The EXPERT study (Experience of a Health Website Evaluated in a Research Study) is an exploratory study; that is, our main aim is to establish the feasibility of undertaking this research and to identify any emergent evidence of efficacy or harm. Our intention is to use the knowledge from this study to inform further, more pragmatic, effectiveness research in future.

Team members

The trial Principal Investigator is Professor John Powell with expert input from Andrew Farmer and Sue Ziebland (University of Oxford). Rafael Perera supervised data analysis conducted by Ly-Mee Yu (both University of Oxford).

John Img ImgRafael Perera

John Powell, Sue Ziebland, Andrew Farmer and Rafael Perera

Brief summary

iPEx briefing paper 8

Health literacy

We undertook a systematic overview to identify all published self-administered health literacy assessment indices to report their content and considerations associated with their administration. A primary aim of this study was to assist those seeking to employ a self-reported health literacy index.

Three questions on health literacy were identified which were included in the trial measures.


An overview of self-administered health literacy instruments

A novel experience-based internet intervention for smoking cessation: feasibility randomised controlled trial. 

Randomised feasibility study of a novel experience-based internet intervention to support self-management in chronic asthma.